I have always been pretty conservative. Like many, I sometimes lived slightly recklessly, but for the most part, I see the world in black and white. I was super skeptical of anything that I wasn’t familiar with. My view of right and wrong didn’t change much, whether I was right or wrong in my actions. I’m extremely hard on myself and I lived within really rigid boundaries of what I believed I was “supposed” to do with my life, with a few exceptions. I had what others perceive to be a “good job”, I bought my first home, I was a mother of a great little boy(yeah, one of those exceptions I mentioned earlier), and was dating with the intent of getting married in my 20s (it didn’t happen). I was alive, but I most certainly was not living.
That’s not to say that I wasn’t genuinely having some fun in my life. I had enjoyed so many hobbies, went on vacations with family and friends, went out on the town with some regularity, and have lots of memories to show for it. But I was so boxed in by the restrictions that I placed on my life, that I was terrified to venture outside of them. I wholeheartedly believed that things had to be a certain way: my dress, my career, the way I dated, the way I raised my son. All had a formula. I still have no idea how I pieced together this set of rules. But it wasn’t until I took the risk of stepping outside of that comfort zone that I really felt the richness of life.
I went on a few dates with guys I met online, and although they never went anywhere, I was able to enjoy getting to know different male personality types without sex being involved. I got to know parts of their personalities that I liked and would add to what I was seeking in a mate. I began to open up to meeting new people in general, and though I remain a loner, I have added some great friends to my life in the last 5-10 years. I’ve learned to accept that people have different views on morality, politics, and religion and by doing so, have changed some of my own. I learned to judge less (hey, I’m still working on that), listen more, and see things from views that are far different than the ones that I’ve always held. I’ve traveled the world with new eyes of understanding, disregarding what I have been taught through the media and basing my opinions of cultures strictly on my personal interactions with no prejudgements.
By being more open minded, and doing things that I normally would not have, I awakened my inner adventurer in an entirely new way. I’ve started two businesses, and been able to walk away from positions at companies that weren’t helping me grow. Foods that I never in a million years thought I’d try have become some of my favorites. while in some cases, it reinforced my belief that not everything is meant to be eaten (ha!) . Activities like zorbing (pic above), riding motorcycles, atvs and dune buggies, parasailing, riding rollercoasters, jet skiing, water skiing, swimming in underground caves, zip lining and the like have become things that I look forward to. I’ve opened myself up to a world of experiences that might have otherwise gone untouched. And I’ve been able to do so without sacrificing my moral standards. Of course, we all fall short at times, but I’ve learned to take those times as a learning experience, move forward, and not beat myself up about them. Life in black and white isn’t nearly as amazing as living in full color.
What are the things that you want to try in life but hesitate because they are beyond your comfort zone? The interest in those things wouldn’t be within you, if there wasn’t a lesson to be learned from giving it a try. As long as you aren’t hurting yourself or others, step out of the box and give it a try. You never know how much it can change your life to do so.
Categories: The Building Blocks
Tags: comfort zone.